Trusted Data Enables Cost Savings Opportunity by Focusing on the Total Customer Experience at EMC

Barbara Latulippe, Chief Data Governance Officer, EMC
Barbara Latulippe, Chief Data Governance Officer at EMC explains how EMC is delivering the total customer experience with great data.

“Trusted data has helped EMC identify opportunity costs of over $40 million a year,” said Barbara Latulippe, Chief Data Governance Officer at EMC, during the Informatica World Tour in Boston last month.

Are you wondering how?

Barbara explained that EMC’s data used to sit in a swamp. Now it sits in a lake: a vast data lake that the company’s data scientists, analytics and operations teams are tapping into to surface meaningful, actionable data and real-time analytics. It’s a strategy that is paying dividends.

EMC is a $21.6 billion titan of the technology industry that has grown by acquiring more than 70 technology companies. EMC has 70,000 employees worldwide who want direct access to great data and don’t want to waste their time doing manual data management.

By putting data at the center of its business, EMC is delivering on its mission to create the ‘Total Customer Experience.’ By strategically investing in data management, EMC is driving more business and increasing efficiency.

The bottom line: trusted data is enabling their data lake strategy to turn insight to actionable savings or monetization of information assets.


EMC bridges its data silos and cleans up its dirty data swamps

Barbara brought breakthrough thinking to the event, revealing to an audience in a packed room how the company’s information-centric strategy is helping EMC consistently exceed customer expectations throughout the customer lifecycle.

Scroll back four years and it was a different story. Back then, EMC was grappling with siloed dirty data ‘swamps.’ There was a lack of data governance and the strategy was very much driven by IT, not the business.

Take customer data for example. Customer data supports everything from software registration and customer self-service portals, to sales account engagement and service requests. But, customer account and contact data resided in multiple disparate systems maintained by several different functions such as marketing, sales, fulfillment and services.


Click on this image to access Barbara’s presentation. Follow Barbara at @TCEDataDiva
Click to access Barbara’s presentation from #IWT15 Boston

“Before we invested in data governance and a data management foundation, our customer account and contact data was often stale, inaccurate or incomplete. It wasn’t fully consumable or actionable,” Barbara recounted.

“For example, there were often multiple customer records for each customer account site location across applications like Salesforce Sales Cloud, SAP ERP receivables and our Oracle Sales Order system.

It was difficult to expose the valuable relationships between companies and contacts. This is critical to EMC as one of our core principles is an extraordinary customer experience. The key is trusted data.”


Delivering great data to fuel the total customer experience

So what has EMC done to enable this transformation? Barbara highlighted Informatica’s role in enabling data sharing and collaboration, faster data insight, transparency for data reusability and verified data quality.

“We’re using Informatica MDM to strategically manage and securely share customer account and contact data across functions, channels and regions,” explained Barbara. “We now have one unique identifier for prospects, customer accounts, site locations and partners. The business has a common Universal ID regardless of what business process the organization is supporting such as sales, manufacturing or services, which eliminates the need for our employees to log into multiple environments to reconcile disparate customer IDs. This accelerates functional collaboration and agility for our business-critical data. It enables advanced analytics innovation in the data lake by surfacing data value and connecting relationships between data sets. And, our service account teams now have better insight into customer interactions.”


EMC’s MDM architecture and technologies include Informatica MDM and Data as a Service for address validation.
EMC’s MDM architecture and technologies include Informatica MDM and Data as a Service for address validation.


So, when a new customer is onboarded, data quality is built into the single point of entry real-time to ensure their teams can access the same trusted master customer profile in their application, regardless of the channel the customer uses to interact with EMC. The customer hub is the single trusted source for customer accounts and contacts, including validated mailing addresses, which delivers great customer data to business applications and analytical applications.

A benefit to the marketing team is they have direct access to an accurate view of a contact’s communications preferences, including whether the contact has chosen to opt-in or opt-out of EMC’s communications within their marketing application because it’s being fuelled by the customer hub.

“It was important for us to invest in an enterprise-class multidomain master data management technology that would give us the flexibility to start small and showcase some quick wins. Then, scale to meet our growing MDM needs,” said Barbara. “We didn’t want to get stuck with a solution that only met departmental needs. The last thing we wanted to do is build MDM silos. That defeats the purpose of investing in a shared set of master data across the company.”

Barbara forewarned, “If you don’t have a data governance program in place, you’re going to have a hard time getting an MDM initiative off the ground.” She stressed the importance of building a data governance council. She recommended involving the business as early as possible to agree on key definitions such as “customer.”

Barbara and her team focused on the financial impact of higher quality data to build a business case for MDM. She asked her business counterparts, “Imagine if you could onboard a customer in 3 minutes instead of 15 minutes?”

Data management is at the heart of EMC’s operations and analytics

That essential element of holistic data governance—high quality, trustworthy data—is serving operational and analytical needs across the company.

“Insights from unreliable data are worse than no insights at all,” Barbara pointed out. “We need to deliver trusted information.” EMC’s data quality strategy provides every BU with clean, trusted data to meet that Total Customer Experience goal, regardless of size, format, or platform of the data.

We recently built a data lake to enable next-generation analytics,” shared Barbara. And, big data needs intelligent data. To accelerate this initiative, we invested in Informatica’s integrated data management platform, which works with any data, any analytics use case, and any BI or analytics tool.”

Using Informatica, EMC is able to explore metadata about ingested big data assets and the lineage between them, index that metadata, query it and integrate it. This helps EMC understand the business context of the data, and accelerate its consumption and delivery throughout the organization.


Big data requires intelligent meta data
Big data requires intelligent meta data

Not all data is of equal value. EMC uses a lean data governance approach to catalog an inventory of all types of data assets while implementing a minimum set of business specific metadata such as identification, context, tagging and ownership.

Data is governed based on the level of consumption, while metadata matures over time via user interaction ‘crowdsourcing.’

“This ensures that only relevant data is used in interactive workbooks, dashboards and real-time visualizations for decision-making,” explained Barbara.

The dirty data swamps are rapidly drying up at EMC. The company’s complete, personalized view of customer relationships—a strategy driven wholeheartedly by the business—is improving operations and driving customer intimacy. And in this era of customer engagement, nothing matters more than that.

Barbara used the EMC Total Customer Experience End-to-End Account Dashboard to demonstrate this. When a customer contacts EMC anywhere in the world through their preferred channel, the dashboard gives every EMC sales, marketing and customer service rep a single, trusted and timely understanding of their customer profile, their current sales bookings, and open service requests.

“By putting data management at the heart of everything we do, we’re changing the conversation we have with customers,” shared Barbara. “We’re engaging them with a more personalized and rewarding experience, which ultimately drives customer satisfaction and revenue growth.”

Follow Barbara on Twitter @TCEDataDiva


This infographic was produced during Barbara’s presentation to highlight the information she shared.
This infographic was produced during Barbara’s presentation to highlight the information she shared.


Upcoming Event

If you enjoyed the insights from Barbara Latulippe’s presentation, join us for an upcoming MDM 360 Summit in New York! Speakers include industry luminary Michele Goetz, Principal Analyst, Enterprise Architecture, Forrester Research and data experts from several companies, including confirmed speakers:

  • Hamilton Faris, Chief Data & Analytics Officer, MetLife
  • Raman Murali, Vice President of Enterprise Analytics, The Chubb Corporation
  • Nicolas E. Lance, Vice President of Retirement Income Strategies, OneAmerica®
  • John Bassani, Senior Director, Ethics & Compliance Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
  • Terri Mikol, Director, Data Governance Office, UPMC
  • Claude Edkins, Senior Vice President & CIO, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • BJ Fesq, Chief Architect and Chief Data Officer, CIT Group
  • Samson Annamdevula, Senior Manager, Master Data Management at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • Dipendra Malhotra, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
  • Anil Chakravarthy, Acting CEO, Informatica
  • Rob Karel, Vice President, Product Strategy & Product Marketing, Informatica
  • Ron Matusof, Vice President, MDM Advanced Customer Engineering, Informatica

MDM 360 Summit New York, Feb 24, 2016 Graphic